When the Heart Gets Toxic

I have a confession to make: my heart can get so toxic at times.

Case in point:

I was having a great day yesterday. I had a significant amount of work done, the office was upbeat and happy, we celebrated a birthday, I worked on this secret project (that I will tell you all about very soon! Sooo kilig!), I was chatting with my papa in NY, etc.

All was well. I was happy, giddy, kilig, all that – until my heart decided to doubt all those positive emotions.

I started questioning myself, started thinking about the moment the happiness is going to end, the moment this kilig fades away (btw, not about me, but another couple). There were way too many voices. I even started being annoyed by all these couples on instagram that I almost uninstalled the app. (Okay, that one, is just embarrassing. Ang bitter huhu)

Does that ever happen to you, too? 

Whenever this happens to me, everything else just drops. My disposition turns sour, I become irritable, I hardly accomplish anything, and I become entirely unpleasant.

My day ended that way. I now feel bad that it had overpowered all the wonderful things and memories that happened earlier.

I hate it when my heart gets toxic.

Kaya pala Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (NIV)

I like the version that says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

I’ve been dominated by this heart for far too long for me to deny how true that verse is. Everything I do flows from the disposition of this heart.

When my heart starts to go awry, and lies start to pile up, may I remember these truths about my heart:

1. My heart is created by God – My physical, anatomical heart is hand-knitted by God (Psalm 139:13), but so is my heart – my emotions, my drive, my passions, my dreams. This unique-as-a-fingerprint Krizia that can be found in nobody else. This is handmade by God, and like all His other creation, He created it good.

2. My heart has been distorted by sin. – Sin placed thorns on roses. Sin marred our identity. Sin, also distorted our hearts. We trust in man, draw strength from the flesh, and turn our hearts away from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5).  The heart personally handmade by God is now stone. (Ezekiel 36:36) The Lord Himself says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

I don’t need to look further to find out why my heart acts so evil sometimes. It’s simple, actually – I’m a sinner. Sinners’ hearts act this way all the time. 

BUT – because of what Jesus had done for me, that’s not the end of my story.

3. My heart has been redeemed by Jesus. – This is the truth that washes over the second. Because Jesus is my Saviour – the Son of God who became man, lived a blameless life, had a PURE HEART, who was accused, scourged, and sentenced to a cross for the sins of all mankind, who died, and on the third day defeated sin and death once and for all and is now at the right hand of the Father preparing a place for everyone who believes – HE HAS REPLACED MY HEART. Wow, that was a mouthful. But I cannot and will never be able to overemphasize what He has done for me.

My heart of stone, now a heart of flesh. A heart festered by darkness and sin now made clean. I am able to feel to the full – wild bursts of joy, the sobering calm of assurance, the humbling waves of grief, among so many other colors of life – these things I can now feel and appreciate and understand, even when they hurt sometimes. My heart can now function as it was created to be, again. No longer marred and distorted. Just redeemed.

And, I do not have to listen to the lies anymore. 

Some of the lies I heard yesterday – I will never be loved, no joy is permanent, my past will forever dictate my future, I will repeat all my bad choices – etc. Those are LIES. The Bible has a rich collection verses that will tell me otherwise. I am sure I will hear those voices again tomorrow, but I can choose to read and listen to the Voice whose banner over me is love.

These are simple truths. I hope I helped magnify His Voice in your life today. And remember, when your heart gets too toxic, turn to the One whose heart and word is pure and life-giving.

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